Sunday, January 14, 2007

Books I'm reading

I heard the poet Franz Wright being interviewed on NPR and immediately connected with him so I've been reading his poems in Walking to Martha's Vineyard. Also read an article about him in Poets and Writers. Poems are non-academic and uneven at times in style from one poem to another. Wright has won many awards, including a Pulitzer and is the son of the famous poet James Wright. The poems reflect his painful background of alcoholism, drug abuse and mental illness. In the past few years though, Wright has turned a new leaf so to speak, become abstinent, gotten married, converted, like Graham Greene, to Catholicism. Fascinating stuff. And that face!
Have read one Dekok mystery before and am enjoying this second one. Baantjer is Dutch, the police procedural mystery set in Amsterdaam. It is a quick, escapist read. One thing I like about mysteries is that there is almost always a climax, a sort of "reward" for the reader. They also tend to be plot driven. Plot is one of the weaker points in my own writing, and sometimes I enjoy a good plot as a sort of example.
I think I've read all of Sara Waters books. This is the most recent. If you like a large cast of interesting characters in a Dickensian mode, you might enjoy this novel set in post-WWII London. She has an easy style to read, and in that very British way, enters the POV of a number of characters. Here in this country with the MFA programed writers, that tends to be frowned upon. Although that is a rabid generalization. Another great escape novel. Am enjoying it greatly. A thumping good read as one book catalogue characterizes such books.

No comments: